Thursday, December 27, 2012

African Flowers!

What started out as an innocent day of yarn organizing turned into an explosion of African Flowers.  I  had come to the sad realization that until I used up all of my yarn I would not allow myself to purchase any more yarn, I came to the same conclusion with my kitchen pantry.  So I thought about what I could do with all of these different yarns, each one was purchased to make a different project that I probably started and took apart or just didn't finish, I'm a closet starter non-finisher.  There. Now that is out in the open. So I thought about what to make and thought these colors would all look great together on a blanket.  But I needed something that would be instant gratification because I had the itch to make something.  So I went to my trusty Pinterest board and got to lookin'.  First pin on my board was an African Flower baby blanket.

I thought, this could be fun.  I would be trying a new pattern and it could be done pretty quick.  I found great directions to the African Flower tutorial here. So with a basket of yarn in tow, I went to my mom's and parked myself in front of the Hallmark channel.  I was hoping that A Princess for Christmas would be on so I could watch Katie McGrath be someone other than Morgana Pendragon.  And yes I can name most Hallmark movies.

Making the flowers was fun.  It was turning them into hexagons that made things a little crazy.  I had to take them a part several times but I think it worked out.   Putting them together was a lot of work and I did not plan it out well.   Note to self don't watch TV when putting things together.  I ended up sewing the wrong side together instead of the right side (that sounds confusing I know).  Then I realized that I was going to have to figure out how to make a half hexagon.  That wasn't part of my plan either.  But you can find a tutorial for it here.

It took me about six days and I finished it up today!  It still needs to be blocked and I will redo the border.  It's not the best work I've done, but I am in love with the color. I have plenty of yarn left over to try again.  There are a couple of things I would do different next time.  For starters I would plan it out.   I would put the project down during the climactic scenes of Merlin.   I would also do an invisible stitch to join the pieces so that the blanket was flat as opposed to rigid. And I would make sure that the right side was the right side.   Practice makes perfect. 

 It also has a special place in my heart.  I prayed a lot while making this blanket.  It may sound cliche but I prayed for the children of Africa.  I prayed for the orphaned babies and abandoned children.  I have been reading some adoption blogs recently and have been blessed to hear different adoption stories, some wonderful and some heartbreaking.  There are so many babies in orphanages either abandoned or who have lost their parents due to AIDS or genocide and my heart breaks.  So every little flower on this blanket is a prayer for safety, protection and Love.  That whoever is caring for them that they could just love on those babies.  That angels would play with them while they were isolated in their cribs.   I prayed for the parents that had to give their babies up.  And prayed for their future homes and families, that God was just putting all of those things in motions for those children to be loved and cared for. I prayed for easy transitions and traveling mercies.  I prayed all these things while kissing my babies a couple of more times before bed.  I prayed that babies without father's would seek the one true Father, for He does not abandon.  I pray that someone could love them.  I hope you can pray for them too. 

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 
~John 15:7

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Peace for the Seeker

I read something on Facebook that really upset me today.  So much so that I was ready to pack my family up and move to a cabin in Montana.  You know it was serious because I hate the cold. I started to get myself all riled up when a song popped into my head...

I lift up my eyes to the heavens Cause I know where my help comes from
I will set my mind upon You, Jesus
My Savior, God's only Son
There is peace for the seeker
Blessed hope from the Lord
There is love without measure
For all who trust in the Lord 

Praise God for that song because it immediately took me out of that doom and gloom cloud I was just about to pitch my tent in.   My heart then began to ache for all those who don't have this Peace.  This free gift from God.  Something so easily attainable.  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."~ John 14:27

Without peace, people live in fear, some turn to fanaticism.   Fear leads to tyranny, whether social or spiritual.  When I watch the news or read the paper or just speak to friends, I'm easily sucked into the anxiety that this world lives in...war, guns, death, famine.  Then I'm reminded of Jesus' Words... "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come."~ Matthew 24:6   I am once again reminded to be at peace. 

I think of all the things that I "think" bring me peace, a long run on a beautiful day or a quiet house with no fighting children.  And when I think of those things, I'm reminded that those are all just "moments" of peace, worldly peace.  In a while the children will be fighting, there won't be enough money and I'm back to eating ice cream straight out of the gallon.  But the gift of peace is constant.  When the children are yelling I ask the Lord to fill me with His peace.  When money runs out I'm reminded that He is the great provider.  When I'm eating the ice cream I say "thanks for that." Whether I chose to accept His precious gift is a whole other story. 

If you're in a place today, full of anxiety, hopelessness or fear, my prayer is that you lift your eyes up to heaven, because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mary did you know?


     I love this time of year.  Not so much for the gift giving part, you can do that any time of the year.  I also could do without the cold, although last nights snowfall was lovely.  I love this time of year for what it represents, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
The Savior of the world would be born on this day.  The bread of life would be born in the town of bread (Bethlehem) and the prophesy would be fulfilled. 

      This year is the first year our oldest who is now five was really looking forward to Christmas, mostly for the gift part, but still it was exciting to see him finally learn the days of the week and understand what a month is.  He woke up every day and crossed off his calendar in preparation for the "big day".  "Mom, I'm excited because Christmas is just two days away."

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."` John 1:14

      Christmas also reminds me to look at my children through different eyes.  I try to look at them through the eyes of Mary.  As a mother I want to raise my children to be like Jesus, but I struggle with being the example myself.  What was it like to raise Jesus Himself?  What must it have felt like to be the mother of God?  To kiss his face?  To hold His hand? To want to protect Him from bruising his knees? To behold his glory?  To see Him die on the cross for those generations of sinners not yet born? To know that He came to save her too.

      My prayer today is to love my children more.  Not just to raise them to be like Jesus but to treat them as if they are Jesus.  Maybe then will they be like Jesus.  Maybe then will I be like Jesus.

      Thank you Mary for taking care of My Lord.  Merry Christmas to you all and God bless you.  Below is one of my favorite songs.  It's a song I could appreciate only after becoming a mother.  I hope you enjoy the lyrics as much as I do

Mary Did You Know
~Mark Lowry

Mary did you know that your baby boy would some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?

Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am

S. Vanessa